Posts tagged ‘relationships’

November 27, 2012

How to Accept the Apology You Never Got

I remember the day exactly. The moment I knew I’d never look at her the same way again. It was the same day she managed to

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

shoot me down to size, rip my heart out, and remove any remaining faith I had left in humanity or myself. It didn’t take much. Just a simple phrase related to the one thing in my life that I shield from the world. I’ll never know how she found out, but she zeroed in on my Achilles heel and shot fire like a pro.

On that day, my entire world changed. I didn’t trust her and our relationship forever changed. But most importantly, I didn’t trust myself. For as long as I could remember, I was the girl with a shield. Harsh words came my way and they rolled off my back. Suddenly, this lady not only made me question her, but it made me question myself. I considered myself a fraud. After all, how can I let someone break me down so easily after professing my strength and ability to ignore insignificant voices for years? How could I continue to call myself a lover over a fighter if all I wanted to do was duck for cover only after I made her feel the pain she put me through? Everything I thought I was turned out to be a lie. I was lying to myself for years and I was just starting to learn the truth about myself. There was no way that I was such an optimistic and resilient person if I let the harsh words of another woman bring me down.

For days and weeks later, I continued to replay the moment in my head – the moment the inflicted pain and harsh words changed my life forever. I lived in constant vision of what my life would have been had I not been wronged. Would I be happier? Would we have a better relationship? Would I still be the vibrant person I knew myself to be? Would I still be living the lie of a tough chick? They were all questions I may never know the answers to. So why bother dwelling in it?

It came to me that I would only be living a lie if I continued to let this heartless person unknowingly run my run my life. Despite that fact that she took my heart and put it in a blender with her cold comments, it was time for me to forgive her. It wasn’t an easy feat considering I never got an apology, but it was something I had to do. I didn’t want to accept that I lied about who am for so long and wanted to be the hero of my story. After weeks of struggling to accept her non-existing apology, it all become easier when I did just one thing. I remembered the acceptance of this “apology” and ability to forgive her wasn’t a favor to her. It was a favor to me so I could live my life once again. So I could have peace of mind. And once I recognized that I should actually be thanking this poor soul for showing me that she was lying about herself all those years, my ability to forgive grew. Once I realized what she said was more about her and not me, accepting that apology became so much easier.

There will always be callous people, hurtful words, and disappointing moments. The important thing to remember is that those moments won’t change who you are unless you allow it to. And not allowing them to change you and live your life becomes that much easier once you learn to accept the apology you never got.

How have you learned to accept apologies you didn’t receive? 

TERRIfic Quip: Give up on all hope of a better past. Instead, invest in the hope of a better future. 

October 23, 2012

The Reason Why I Love Rejection (And Why You May Start Loving it Too)

“Thanks but no thanks.”

Image courtesy of: Freedigitalphotos.net

“I’ll pass.”

“Not interested.”

“It’s not right for us.”

These are all words I hear on almost a daily basis. Most people will cringe and sink further into their seat if they saw these in their inbox everyday. But I love every single minute of it. It’s not because my favorite word is no. (It’s not.) And it’s not because I enjoy failure. It’s because every single one of those rejections I stumble upon in my email is a little glimmer of hope that I am getting somewhere.

Let me explain. I work in the media. A majority of my day is spent sending out cold pitches to magazine editors who don’t even know I exist. This happens to be the routine of millions of other freelance writers around the world.  That means editors get hundreds of emails sent to their inbox on a daily basis by people they don’t know. Chances of them actually opening my email are slim. But every once in a while a miracle happens and an editor glides her coveted mouse over to my email and opens it. Now most of the time, I get nothing in return. If I’m really lucky I’ll get a glowing response that says, “I love your idea. How about writing for the upcoming mother’s day issue for $2.00 per word.” But most of the time, if I get any response at all it’s, “I’m not interested at this time, but thanks for thinking of us.”

Of course, I would have preferred to get the uplifting response offering me an assignment. But I’ll take the rejection email too. Although it’s not as obvious, the “bad” email means something too. It means that out of the hundreds of emails the editor got she thought my email pitch was worth opening. And even though the pitch wasn’t worthy of publication she did think it was worth a response. She could of easily deleted my email and went on her way without giving me a second thought. But to that editor, I was more than just an anonymous girl who sent her a failed pitch. I was a girl that took a chance and at least deserved a response. It was proof that I must have done something right. More importantly that rejection was the beginning of a new relationship.

See, I knew that if that coveted editor read and responded to one email the chances of her reading and responding to another one of my emails was heightened. So rather than taking that rejection as a sign of defeat and failure, I flip it and turn it into the beautiful beginning of a new relationship and a dream. It’s my cue to start pitching and emailing that editor as though my life depended it. Even more importantly, it’s a sign to not give up. And nearly 100% of the time, those signs are correct.

It was a few months ago that I got my my rejection letter from an editor at REDBOOK magazine. I didn’t give up hope. I continued to forge a relationship with that editor through consistent emails and conversations. And then one day, a dream came true. I was offered my dream assignment and my article was featured in the August issue of REDBOOK.

Just goes to show you that my favorite words to live by are true. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. And to think it all started with a rejection letter…

When was rejection a sign of better  things to come in your career or personal life?

TERRIfic Quip: When things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.

October 16, 2012

What You Can Learn from Your 6-year old Self

My parents taught me not to judge a book by it’s cover. As a child, I certainly took that life lesson to heart. When I was six years old, I made friends with everyone. Age, religion, race, social status, sexuality just didn’t matter to me. Chances are it didn’t matter to most six years old. That’s why it shouldn’t have come of much surprise when I made friends with an eleven year old girl who lived in the same complex I did. Not only was she five years older than me, but she was deaf and mute. (That’s where the surprise came in) It didn’t matter that we didn’t understand each other or that we were years apart. All we saw in each other was a playmate and a best friend.

Of course, there were those who probably thought that it was impossible to build a strong a relationship when you couldn’t even communicate with each other. After all, she was a deaf eleven year old and I was a six year old that didn’t understand sign language. But that didn’t matter. We showed each other the world. She taught me how to do cartwheels and things she learned in gymnastics and I taught her how to play card games and things I did in Girl Scouts. We were inseparable and had a strong bond.

As we grew older we started to drift apart and then she moved away. However, our frienship hasn’t been forgotten. I often wonder how she is and look back in awe at how close we had become. Even though, I was the one in the middle of this fairytale friendship it was like one of the eight wonders of the world to me. For some reason, I couldn’t get over the fact that all we had in common was our address and the shared desire to play. I couldn’t help but ask myself, why everything can’t be that simple. And then I realized everything is that simple. Oddly enough, it took my reflecting on my life as a six year old to realize that.

There will always be obstacles, differences, and hardships. However, those obstacles and differences always seem much bigger than they are because we make it that way. Rather than focusing on the obsolete, it would be wise to focus on the greater good. There will always be a solution. And there will always be a way out of the tunnel. If not, there really isn’t a problem. So stop stressing yourself out. And stop making a problem bigger than it is. Chances are there is a simpler route and a solution but you’ve blinded yourself from it.

It would have been easy for my childhood friend and I to refuse to cross pasts because of our obvious dissimiarities. We could have chosen to predict unforseen problems with building a friendship based on something as shallow as playtime and avoided it. However, we chose to build something meaningful based on our shared common ground. It’s a premise that can and should be applied to romantic relationships, professional relationships, family life, etc.

Rather than dissect every situation until there is nothing left, we should accept every situation for what it is and make the best of it. After all, that’s how friendship is made and opportunities are seized. It’s hard to believe that it was a life lesson I understand at such a young age, but took twenty years for me to grasp. Turns out the wide-eyed and innocent children know a little more than we think… Silence the voices and the differences and just let your inner child speak.

What life lessons have you learned from your youth?

TERRIfic Quip: Everything is simple. We make it difficult.